updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue September 20, 2011
Replacement work still distance from completion
Apple has entered into a new phase in replacing the cube over its Fifth Avenue store, an observer notes. On Tuesday morning construction workers were spotted removing parts of the wooden support frame covering the upgraded cube's glass. The panes are still masked with a protective film, the witness remarks. Access to the store remains open; as in past weeks, people must simply enter through a temporary hallway.
The replacement has been in progress for some time, and is still nowhere near finished. Construction efforts began in fact began in July, and are not expected to wrap up until November. In all the new cube will cost Apple at least $6.7 million, and there appears to be no reason for the switch beyond a new look, using 15 panes instead of 90.
Apple may be able to justify the project because of the store's income. The building is one of the most lucrative in the company's retail chain, and on Fifth Avenue itself, despite the presence of several high-profile luxury retailers in the neighborhood. It is moreover open 24 hours a day year-round, barring exceptions like product launches.